Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Photo essay: The soon to be lost city in Anatolia by John Wreford

It is nice to know that our man in Damascus, John Wreford is still able to produce work and get it out to his clients. Recent conversations with John have highlighted the desperate problems of Syria and the restrictions on movement have meant his opportunity to photograph in Syria during these very dangerous times have been limited so this photo essay of his from Turkey is welcome.

“God spoke to Noah commanding him to save his family, build an Ark and take the animals – the flood was coming, Earth needed to be cleansed. The well-known story is related in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and finding the Ark and proving the story true an eternal quest.

Noah reputedly hailed from Mesopotamia, and the last resting place of the Ark is still thought to be in the region of Ararat in Turkish Anatolia, so it’s with some irony that a few hundred kilometres to the south all the talk is of impending flood waters that will drown towns and villages along the Tigris basin, the ancient town of Hasankeyf being the most prominent.

“This time the Turkish government is the one preparing to open the floodgates; the southeast Anatolian project (GAP) is an ambitious plan to develop the infrastructure of the impoverished region utilizing the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers via a series of dams and hydroelectric plants. Needless to say there has to be casualties and it looks like Hasankeyf is going down with all its treasure”……..MORE

© John Wreford

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